Internships vs. Externships
Both internships and externships can offer you experience outside the classroom or office that can help guide the decisions you make for your future. Understanding the difference between the two terms might help you when an externship opportunity arises (although in some fields of work the terms may be used interchangeably).
Externships generally differ from internships in several ways:
1. Time. An externship is typically a short term endeavor designed to give students, employees, or professionals experience in their field. Some externships might last a day or two while others may last weeks.
2. Involvement. While internships provide opportunities for students to fill roles in their fields of study, Externships provide the opportunity to observe or "shadow" professionals in roles which interest the student.
For this reason, externships often do not result in official college credit in the way internships do.
3. Purpose. The purpose of the externship is observation while internships could be viewed more as participation. An extern has a chance to watch people work in careers that interest them, allowing them to refine their goals and plan their futures.
Externships can often be viewed as an experience for evaluation. Externs evaluate professions and organizations while hosts evaluate externs for possible employee candidates.
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